Sandra Thomas


  

Sandra Thomas

University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing
Knoxville, TN
United States

Photo: Dr. Sandra Thomas (left) and Dean Niederhauser (right) The DAISY Faculty Award was presented to Dr. Sandra Thomas in December 2014 at our Commencement Ceremony. Dr. Thomas has been on faculty at the University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Nursing since 1983. She helped to develop the PhD program and has served as its chair since 1993. She is s strong advocate for our PhD students with the goals of their success and future contribution to nursing science, and she has chaired or served on more than 100 dissertation committees. Her own research has focused on women's mental health, including their anger, stress, depression, and recovery from trauma. She leads a weekly Phenomenology Research Group, which is attended by graduate students from nursing, psychology, education, and several other disciplines. She has served as the editor of “Issues in Mental Health Nursing" since 1997. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Thomas currently teaches Theoretical Foundations of Nursing to graduate students. The student who nominated Dr. Thomas for this award said, “Each time we have class I am amazed at her ability to challenge us graduate students in how we view nursing. One day, our class was discussing a theory that advocates for nurses to make patients their partners in care. This theory provoked a discussion about patient non-compliance. Dr. Thomas gave us a few examples that helped us see that non-compliance has many contributing factors, many of which have nothing to do with the patient being stubborn. She reminded us that patients have often endured great suffering in their lives; none of us knows how we would respond if we had walked in their shoes. I was blown away by her compassion for patients and especially her compassion for us, as she wants to see us excel as advance practice nurses and not fall prey to common misconceptions and bad attitudes about patient care. I am a better nurse and will be a better advanced practice nurse because of her class."